2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (375ml)

SKU #1114111 93 points Wine Spectator

 Features an intense, savory aroma, with racy flavors of slate, sea salt and white pepper accented by green apple and white cherry notes. Airy and light on the vibrant finish, which offers touches of elegance. Drink now through 2038.  (4/ 2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ample aromas of fresh apple, tropical fruit and lemon oil. Honeyed and rich, but with a delicacy to its papaya fruit, this spatlese is kept alive by its understated acidity. Conveys a clear, refreshing slate character on the spicy finish.  (2/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Cask sample. Very smoky/reductive - light note of rubber but not unpleasant, especially when you can imagine where the wine is going once it is bottled. Fine, bright apricot fruit. It is sweet but somehow you hardly notice the sweetness within the harmony of fruit and acidity and minerality. Dense but very light on its feet. Long.  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

93+ points from Mosel Fine Wines: "This wine is all about white peach, white flowers and delicate smoky slate delivered in one of these great juicy Auslese packages of the 1990s or 1980s. The feel on the palate is clean and fresh and a delicate touch of creaminess just adds to the feeling of length in the after-taste without however adding anything weighty. This gorgeous effort is still on the reduced side at this stage and in need of some bottle age in order to find its primary balance. But what a beautiful wine in the making! It may indeed even warrant a higher rating than initially expected at maturity." (10/2012) The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prüm Estate, if not all of the Mosel Valley. With its south-southwest exposure, weathered grey slate and ridiculous steepness (up to 70%) it provides an optimal growing climate for Riesling. The wines from here show fantastic depth of stone fruit flavors accompanied by a fine line of minerality and length. The 2011 vintage was marked by perfect springtime weather conditions, a nice, drawn out, somewhat cool summer and lovely fall that allowed for extended hang times and, in turn, excellent ripening. The 2011s will be slightly more accessible earlier on (5-15 years depending on Prädikat), but with their complexity, elegance and fine structure the aging potential is frustratingly fantastic (patience may be required). (Eric Story, K&L)

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Price: $17.99

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By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 11/6/2012  | Send Email
If you want to taste the gold standard of Burgundy or Bordeaux you must be either very rich or very lucky. The same goes for California Cabernet, Barolo, Brunello and just about everything else in the world of wine, but not for Riesling. While $40 is not cheap, the Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling in this bottle represents one of the world’s best sites in the hands of one of the worlds best producers. This is first growth quality all the way, and in the softer, more approachable 2011 vintage, something that anyone interested in tasting great wines should purchase immediately. The fact that sweet whites are not in fashion is to our advantage right now, but it won't last. This rich Spatlese is completely clean and pure, showing lots of blue slate and peachy fruit. The finish is damn near endless, and the greatness of the whole package is inspiring.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Riesling

- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.
Country:

Germany

- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.
Sub-Region:

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer